Promises and Secrets
A website for those not afraid to examine their beliefs, compare them to the real world, and make sure they fit.
Here's how the site works
Hover your mouse over a menu box below and see the menu for that subject.
WE TAKE THIS SIDE
On subsequent pages, this box is the place where the summary of a view is presented explaining something about the topic in the FACT box in the center. Of course, not everyone claiming to be on the presented side will be represented by this view. If you want to add to the view or suggest changes, please send in your comments to:
THE REAL WORLD
This set of three side-by-side boxes will be used to identify the major viewpoints of boths sides of an issue. FACTS listed here in the center will be generally undisputed events, things, and information regarding the subject matter that are accepted by most reasonable persons, but about which there are multiple viewpoints regarding the state, origin, or meaning of the subject matter.
SEND US YOUR SIDE
Here you will find a summary of at least one (if any are submitted) of the general opposing views to the explanation presented in the box on the other side of the FACT column. Again, not all who claim to be in this camp will be represented by this view. If you want to add to the view or suggest changes, please feel free to send in your comments to:
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Did you know that the word "church" is not in the Old or New Testament?
This is not a sneaky play on words because the Old Testament was really written in Hebrew, the New in Greek, with both having some Aramaic texts for the translations. There is no word that translates to "church" in there.
Here it comes. "What? Are you blind? Open up your Bible, it's right there! That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard!" And probably some statements that are much more colorful, if not very appropriate.
I am serious, and not the only one who knows this. The word we see as "church" in the Bible was "ecclesia" and it has nothing to do with buildings, denominations, or even a particular place or scheduled time for people to gather. Take a look at a few sites:
And, the first seven are just the top ones listed on the Google search for "Is the word 'church' in the original language of the New Testament?" Of course, there are some wrong impressions given on at least one of the pages:
Christian Courier shows the word ekklesia
followed by a parenthetical (church), implying that they are the same.
Their discussion following that implication shows differently.
However, more true to real life is the opening statement at Aggressive Christianity where they open their article with this:
Let us make it clear from the very beginning that the established religious system, which manifests itself in the abomination called "church", is NOT of God.
Brash, but it does not take away the truth of their arguments. While this last statement (in the box above) may seem soft and tenuous (grin), it is the most accurate with regard to the Godliness, or lack thereof, of the modern churches.
Hold on, now
No, this is not an accusation that the devil is blatantly presenting himself through the churches, but the organizations and congregations of todays churches do not even remotely resemble the first-century ecclesia of Christ and the Apostles. They just have an astonishing blend of pagan artifacts and practices that actually contradicts the message they are trying to deliver. You can see what I mean by this statement at the Church and Pagan Christianity? pages on this site.
So, where did the word "church" come from?
If you looked at any of the sites listed, you'll see that the word "church" is from an Old English word derived from Dutch and German words, which came from a medieval Greek word. Without getting into all the details, the medieval Greek word kuriakon started being used in the 4th century A.D. to describe Christian churches. This is a reference to the buildings used for congregating, which was actually a shortened form of "kuriake oikia" that meant "house of the Lord". It has nothing to do with Christ, but the "Christians" use it as though it is holy.
Where were we...?
So, back to the opening question, did you know that the word "church" is not in the New Testament? In the same context, the word "Easter" is not in the New Testament. Oh, it's in one translation of the Bible, the so-called Authorized Version (KJV), but that usage is just like the use of the word "church" to replace ecclesia.
Call a "Christian" holiday by a pagan name?
The word "Easter" came from the name of the fertility goddess (Istar, Astarte, and a list of other spellings) that the pagans worshipped using eggs, bunnies, while worshiping her and the sun on Sunday. In the same way that "church" replaced "ecclesia", the word "Easter" came from a re-defining of the translation of the Jewish word "pascha" that means Passover.
Change the name, and the meaning?
And, in exactly the same way as "ecclesia" never meant a building to go to, the modern "church" way of celebrating Easter has nothing to do with Passover, salvation, or any of the events surrounding the first-century resurrection of Christ. They say they are celebrating the Resurrection, but they are doing it "in the way of the pagans", which God said not to do (Deuteronomy 12:3-4,30-31
3 Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places. 4 You must not worship the LORD your God in their way. (Deut 12:3-4)
30 and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, "How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same." 31 You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods. (Deut 12:30-31)
, Deuteronomy 18:9
9 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there.
, and Jeremiah 10:2
2 This is what the LORD says: "Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the heavens, though the nations are terrified by them.
More common than you think
Today's churches have adopted so many pagan practices and artifacts that it is amazing that they still call themselves Christian. Not only that, but they have done away with a major portion of God's word (the Old Testament), claiming that it has no application to God's people. You know, those people who believe in God, His Son, and His Holy Spirit, days that God made holy, and commands He gave that His people are to follow in order to live in His will.
Don't just take my word for it
This site has endeavored to present a lot of concepts that seem contrary to the actions and beliefs of today's "churches", but actually fall right in line with the will of God for His ecclesia as expressed in the Bible. The main concept is that we are supposed to be the ecclesia of God's people who have been "called out" of the world, and we are supposed to act like we are separate from it - not join in with it. We don't "go to church", we are the church, but only if we do as the "ecclesia" was taught by Jesus and His apostles, including Paul.
Let us know what you think
I don't remember ever reading in the Bible where the "ecclesia" was to mix paganism with the teachings of Christ in order to demonstrate that we are God's children. Today's churches do just that. If you feel differently, let us know. You should be able to provide a defense if you believe in the real Jesus, and follow what He said. If you can't stand for your own beliefs in good conscience and with Biblical evidence, then maybe you should rethink your beliefs.
Disagree? Find an error? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and give us your view.
This site is based on the plea of David, the author of Psalm 12.
Psalm 12 (NIV)
1 Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
2 Everyone lies to their neighbor;
they flatter with their lips
but harbor deception in their hearts.
3 May the Lord silence all flattering lips
and every boastful tongue -
4 those who say,
"By our tongues we will prevail;
our own lips will defend us - who is lord over us?"
5 "Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
I will now arise," says the Lord.
"I will protect them from those who malign them."
6 And the words of the Lord are flawless,
like silver purified in a crucible,
like gold refined seven times.
7 You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
and will protect us forever from the wicked,
8 who freely strut about;
when what is vile is honored by the human race.
A submission from a reader:
What Got in the Way
I didn't want the what I found
Nor did I even care.
I didn't seek to understand
The what I saw in there.
No matter what it can't be true
I know 'cause I can see
Just what I want, and what I don't
And what is wrong with me.
What absolutes are promised.
That's not how I depict it.
And what my what is wanting,
would make it all conflicted.
So even though the what is there
I'd just assume it's not,
'cause if it was of consequence
I'd have to ask - then what?
-Steven Glen of Caleb and Company
TELL US YOUR SIDE
Join the discussion here. This space is waiting just for you.